2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392: Return of the King

Back in July, Jeep unveiled the Wrangler 392 concept at the same time that Ford was introducing the all-new Bronco. And now, the concept is a production reality with the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392. Jeep fans have long been clamoring for a V8-powered Wrangler since the last one came under AMC in 1972. After a lengthy wait, the original king of off-roaders is back with vengeance.

Let's start with the juicy bits. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has the same Hemi V8 engine as the concept, specifically a 392 cubic-inch naturally-aspirated mill. Producing 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, Jeep said the four-door Rubicon 392 can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5-seconds with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox.

And for the first time, the Wrangler 392 will come with paddle shifters! With that much power, it can also breach the quarter-mile in around 13.0-seconds, which is impressive for an off-road vehicle.

So yeah, the newest Wrangler 392 is a Jeep that won't look out of place in a dragstrip. This same engine produces 485 horsepower in the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT 392, but it has 20 more horses than the concept vehicle unveiled last summer. The engine is equipped with variable cam timing, two spark plugs per cylinder, hollow intake valves, unique piston cooling oil squirters, and an active intake manifold to ensure reliable performance.

And since we're talking about an off-road Jeep, the engine comes with a high-mounted alternator, a new rear-sump oil pan, and a bespoke tri-level Hydro-Guide intake system. The latter has multiple air pathways to block dirt, mud, and gunk from entering the intake manifold, even as waves come crashing down on your Jeep's hood. All told, this set-up permits the Wrangler 392 to wade across 32.5-inches of water without stalling its mighty V8 motor.

Performance is further enhanced by the new Wrangler's bevy of performance kit. There's AMax shifting to maximize acceleration, while Torque Reserve is a form of launch control to maximize take-off velocities. It even has a free-flowing exhaust with a driver-actuated bypass valve that can either suppress or unleash a full-bore, muscular exhaust sound at your behest.

Engine power is sent to all four wheels via a full-time Select-Track 4WD system with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, 3.73:1 axle ratio, and 48:1 crawl ratio. The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has Dana 44 front and rear axles with thicker axle tubes, electronic locking differentials, and an electronic front sway bar disconnect system for proper off-road smarts.

It also looks the part with a standard two-inch lift kit, upgraded frame rails, unique suspension with Fox high-performance shock absorbers, reinforced upper control arms, and larger vented brakes. Standard equipment includes 17-inch Beadlock-ready wheels and 33-inch off-road tires to complete the rugged, go-anywhere vibe. The newest Wrangler 392 offers up to 10.3-inches of ground clearance, a 44.5-degree approach angle, and a departure angle of up to 37.5 degrees.

Visually, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 stands out with a unique grille design, a new hood lifted from the Jeep Gladiator Mojave (complete with a hood scoop and functional cold air intake system), a body-colored hardtop roof, Rubicon 392 badging, bronze accents, and quad exhaust tips. Meanwhile, the cabin has standard leather seats with bronze stitching and Rubicon 392 embroidery, an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen, and a thick-rimmed tiller.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will only be sold as a four-door model. Pricing has yet been announced, but we're expecting it to have the highest MSRP among its siblings, with base prices expected to start under $70,000. We'll know more as the V8-powered Wrangler arrives at U.S. Jeep dealerships by the first quarter of 2021.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Gallery